March 27, 2001
In Defense of Religion
NOTE: Before reading this, I would advise that you (re)read mike's article first: I just Lent you five dollars last week!
This may be a little late, but I feel that something must be said, and it must be said by me, the last person Mike may want to hear it from.
First off, I have to say that even though you didn't go into your beliefs on why "religion in general is a hoax... [because] that would be too inflammatory," you did a really good job of making the article very inflammatory. I won't say you don't have the right to say what you said; we all know the 1st Amendment, and there's no point in arguing that. We also know we have the freedom of religion, thus we all have our (different) beliefs, and that's perfectly ok. But I can't stand here and have someone blast something that is so dear to me, and something that has become more of a part of my life recently.
Secondly, you apparently didn't read up on Lent. It isn't just a Catholic belief -- it is shared by many religions, including Lutherans and many other Protestant faiths. Luckily, you did get one of the reasons behind Lent, but I feel you might be a little misguided. For one, you completely misconstrued what your friend said. Your friend said that Lent was (and I quote from your article), "an act of faith; a showing that you are willing to sacrifice for the Lord," but you took it to mean that we do this so God will believe we exist. We don't voluntarily give something up in our life just to prove to God that we're here. God knows we're here -- he put us here!
Rather, Lent is a time for us to reflect on *our* lives. It's a time to find something that has been more important in our lives than worshipping God, whether it be something religious (not praying enough) or even something trivial (eating sweets), and telling yourself you're going to spend the next 40 days putting God first again. In Biblical times, people did this all the time, only at a higher scale, such as fasting. It's not a time for proving yourself to God; it's a time for proving yourself to yourself.
You also ask in your article if "millions of people across the world [will] start holy wars in [your] name..." Probably not. Why? Because you aren't God. You don't have the best-selling Book of all time written about you and your greatness. And, until that happens, I'm sorry to say that you won't be God.
You also question whether you have "the part of the brain that allows one to believe in something too great to comprehend." I feel that you do have that part of the brain, but that you don't *want* to have that part of your brain. Choosing what to believe, or what not to believe, is your choice, and I pray that one day you want to use that part of your brain.
I would also like to point out that you, Mike, are definitely confused on what you believe in. You constantly bash God throughout your article, yet the following articles come to point (with quotes):
- It's time to ante up already! -- "GOD!"
- Give me a little credit, would you? -- "And God knows..."
- Public Service - Just why should I bother? -- "Pick a god d**n product..." [expletive removed for respect to God]
- Olympic Commentators - Less Necessary than a Bullet in the Head -- "For the love of God..."
- Shopping in Advance -- "So for the love of God..."
- Gay Rights - Isn't that supposed to be a happy subject? -- "Jesus Christ."
In each of these articles, you use the term "God" in some form or fashion. In one, you even use "god d**n," which puzzles me the most. How can you, a self-proclaimed non-believer of God, ask for God to condemn something?
Even more puzzling is the following quote from Gay Rights - Isn't that supposed to be a happy subject?:
"You know what? If you are so insecure about your own sexuality that you have to mock, imitate, harass, or batter a homosexual, you have just forfeited your right to breathe the same oxygen as me."
Am I the only one that smells the hypocrisy here? Maybe if I change it to say this:
"You know what? If you are so insecure about your own religion that you have to mock, imitate, harass, or batter a Christian, you have just forfeited your right to breathe the same oxygen as me."
Do you see it now?
Mike, you know, as well as most of my friends, that I am not one to usually voice my opinions on most things. That's apparent on how long this took me to respond to your article. But when something does bother me as much as a friend blasting something I believe in so much, I feel that is the time to step forward. I pray that you may one day see the joy that God brings into people's lives, and I pray even harder that you may feel that joy.
Published: March 27, 2001